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TheGronkster last won the day on July 17 2017

TheGronkster had the most liked content!

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68 Respected Collector / Researcher

About TheGronkster

  • Birthday 12/16/1981

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    Wisconsin, United States
  • Militaria Interests
    Primarily WW1

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  1. Thanks, JustinG. Stay tuned as I have a lot of photos to share. For this thread I'll eventually add more aircraft, anti-aircraft, and even some unpublished photos of Hermann Göring. Ben
  2. TheGronkster

    Photo - General Sir Brian Hubert Robertson

    Very nice, @Sobel! I have tinkered with coloring old BW photos in GIMP a little bit and have found it to be very time consuming. So I can appreciate how much work you must have put into this. After the original post I I did a lot of repair work to remove scratches and also reduced the glare on the side of his head before uploading the photo to Wikimedia and adding it to his Wikipedia page. Glad to see people are reading about him on the Internet . I was recently reading about a different topic in a post on GMIC and noticed that Robertson was one of the signers of the Allied document that officially abolished the state/kingdom of Prussia at the end of WW2. Thanks for sharing! Best regards, Ben
  3. TheGronkster

    Photos - MG08 and MG08/15 Machine Guns

    Saxon soldiers of Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 103 (103rd Infantry Regiment) with two MG08s: Photo dated 28 September 1915.
  4. Very nice awards, everybody! Please keep them coming. Below is a Prussian Merit Cross in gold (gilt): As you can see, much of the gilt has worn off. This was only awarded from 1912-1918 and the award was to be returned after the death of the recipient. However, with the abdication of the monarchy most recipients probably kept their awards.
  5. TheGronkster

    Photos - MG08 and MG08/15 Machine Guns

    An MG training course group with two MG08s: Center placard dated May 1917. Unable to identify the unit, although the soldiers may be from a mix of units as the soldier to the right of the placard has a Hessian belt buckle.
  6. TheGronkster

    Photos - MG08 and MG08/15 Machine Guns

    An MG08/15 crew hurrying past ruins: I count eight soldiers, which was probably enough to operate two MG08/15 guns. Based on other photos I have seen, I think this photo may have been taken during the Second Battle of the Marne July-August 1918. Please let me know if you have seen this photo referenced anywhere else as I'm hoping to pinpoint the date & location.
  7. TheGronkster

    Photos - MG08 and MG08/15 Machine Guns

    Soldiers of Kaiser Alexander Garde-Grenadier-Regiment Nr. 1 (1st Guard Grenadier Regiment of Emperor Alexander) posing with two MG08s: Center placard is dated 13 July 1918.
  8. TheGronkster

    Photos - MG08 and MG08/15 Machine Guns

    Troops of Jäger-Bataillon Nr.10 (10th Hunter/Light Infantry Battalion) with two MG08s:
  9. TheGronkster

    Photos - MG08 and MG08/15 Machine Guns

    Prewar soldiers of Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 69 (69th Infantry Regiment): Photo postmarked 23 April 1913.
  10. MG troops of 3.Zug 3.Kompanie Maschinengewehr-Scharfschützen-Abteilung Nr. 72:
  11. Belgian soldiers with a Chauchat automatic rifle:
  12. Hi Hodge, The Bavarian MVK is an addictive medal to collect as there are so many variants and if you are determined to get a case for each one it will most likely be a never ending quest! The higher classes are more difficult to acquire since it was a rank based award and less of them were awarded as a result. Be very cautious when purchasing 1st class crosses as there are now fakes on the market and even prominent dealers have been fooled. Most of them are 3rd class crosses that were "upgraded" by gilding the bronze and adding enamel to the center orb. Also beware that there were at least five jewelers that manufactured these crosses and sellers like to shuffle the medals and cases so you get a medal/case mismatch. The five jewelers I know of are: Deschler, Hemmerle, Lauer, Leser, and Weiss It seems every jeweler had multiple variants of their cross as the years went by during WW1 sometimes making it a headache to determine what you have. To add to the confusion the jewelers would sometimes hallmark the cross or swords on one variant, but then neglect to do so on a later variant. In addition, not all jewelers manufactured all three classes of cross. Many of them only manufactured 3rd and 2nd class crosses. To my eyes, your cross appears to be a Jacob Leser. The lettering style printed on the case lid in your first picture and the case clasp in your fourth picture I have seen used on both Leser and Deschler cases. To be 100% sure you've got a medal/case match you would have to slide the EK2 ribbon out from the case (just leave it out as it doesn't go with that medal anyway) and see what jeweler name is printed on the underlying fabric. Hope this helps. Best regards, Ben
  13. Gentlemen, Please grab your cameras and post photos of your Maschinengewehr Scharfschützen Ärmelabzeichen and photos of soldiers wearing them. Photos of fake/reproduction badges are also welcome for comparison purposes. Below is my one and only: Enjoy! Ben
  14. An observation balloon (Type Ae 800) just off the ground and a group of Luftschifftruppen posing: